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Gwynedd primary school pupils calling on motorists to slow down

With the arrival of the new school year, pupils from three primary schools in Gwynedd want to remind motorists to drive carefully past their schools,

Pupils form Ysgol Bethel near Caernarfon, Ysgol Dyffryn Ardudwy in Meirionnydd and Ysgol Pentreuchaf near Pwllheli – three schools in areas with different traffic flow – have taken part in an innovative pilot scheme to encourage motorists to stick within the 20 miler per hour speed limit outside their schools.

The pilot scheme involved pupils form the three schools taking part in a competition to design a sign to be placed outside the schools. This is the first time a scheme of its kind between the Council’s Transport Unit with participation from the schools has been trailed in Gwynedd.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“Raising awareness of road safety amongst Gwynedd residents, and especially with the county’s children and young people is very important to the Council. Activities are held at schools all over the county throughout the year to encourage pupils to be cautious and to take care on Gwynedd roads. This scheme goes the extra mile, where the pupils use what they’ve learnt to urge motorists to drive carefully past their schools.”

Nia Guillemin, Head teacher at Ysgol Bethel near Caernarfon said:

“Ysgol Bethel is situated on a road with significant traffic flow throughout the day, and we have a lollypop person to help the children cross the road to school in the morning and home in the afternoon. Since the 20 mile per hour signs were installed, there definitely has been a reduction in the speed of traffic that goes through the village as motorists are more aware that they’re driving past a school.”

Gethin Thomas, Ysgol Pentreuchaf near Pwllheli’s Head teacher stated:

“This scheme has been very successful in slowing the flow of traffic outside the school during the past year. I believe that one of the main reasons for this is due to the children’s input in designing the signs that has helped to create an interest and encourage commitment amongst parents and the wider community to reduce their speed whilst driving past the school.

Mrs Ann Jones, Head teacher at Ysgol Dyffryn Ardwdwy added:

“As our school is located on a busy road used by locals and visitors alike and as we do not have a lollypop person to help the children cross the road in the morning and afternoon, these signs are even more important in raising awareness amongst motorists about the possibility of children walking along the roadside or crossing the road.”

So far, the scheme has been successful in slowing traffic flow outside the three schools, and the Council is continuing to monitor the scheme to consider if it should be extended to other schools.

For more information about road safety in Gwynedd, visit: www.dffgwyneddmon.net